Saurav Singh of Freshworks shares his six top live chat metrics to track for great customer service.
Good customer service is like an analog clock where all the gears work seamlessly in a coordinated manner. The mechanism is reliable and effective but malfunctioning of just one gear can bring the whole clock to a standstill.
Although the performance of your customer service might not be dependent on just one factor, tracking key live chat metrics can help avoid common issues like long waiting queues, missed chats, bad customer experience, and ultimately frustrated customers.
That’s why we are listing some of the most important live chat metrics that will help you deliver great customer service and we have also included some important tips you can quickly implement in each section.
So, if you are already using live chat software, let’s dive into the metrics right away (if not, then just give live chat a try, it’s free!)
1. Number of Chats
The number of chats is the total queries you receive during a specific time duration – it can be a day, a week, or a month. The number of chats can vary depending on the type of business, the time of year, and the number of other available channels of communication.
Here are a few tips for businesses and live chat agents to improve this metric.
- Track the number of live chats in the following categories and set up goals and next steps for each:
- Opened – Try to push open chats into the resolved category.
- Missed – Follow up as soon as possible.
- Resolved – Follow up with feedback forms to assess customer satisfaction.
- If the number of chats received by your team is low, it could indicate either that your customers prefer another channel or that your web widget is not easily accessible. If it is the latter, consider putting your chat pop-ups in more places, including your homepage, in-app, pricing page, or product feature pages.
- Businesses can also use this metric to forecast the workload during peak hours and create a workload distribution strategy.
2. FRT (First Response Time)
First Response Time is the time elapsed between a query submitted by the customer and a reply sent by a live chat agent. This is a particularly important metric as the fundamental goal of a live chat is to provide instant communication between customers and companies.
Research by ifbyphone states that 59% of the customers are likely to buy from a business if the response time is less than one minute.
Therefore, the longer it takes for the first response, the unhappier the customer will be.
Pro tip: When FRT is high, people have to wait in long queues to get a response. To gauge the wait time, it’s important to measure ART (Average Queue Time) along with FRT. Average Queue Time – as the name suggests, is the time taken by a company to acknowledge a live chat message.
But if the FRT and Average Queue Time is high then people will get frustrated and leave. That’s why we’ve listed down some tips to reduce the FRT and increase customer satisfaction.
- Auto-route conversations to a specific department based on the type of query. This will cut down on time spent manually assigning a conversation.
- Enable your agents to set up canned responses to reduce response time.
- Implement chatbots to provide 24×7 communication, and to deflect common queries.
3. ART (Average Resolution Time)
Average Resolution Time refers to the average time taken by agents to resolve a query successfully. Since live chat offers real-time communication between the agent and the customer, it’s a lot easier for agents to understand and resolve queries quickly.
In fact, 59% of people prefer using live chat even before they call a business for support.
While low resolution time is good, companies should look into the following reasons to know why ART might be high:
- Agents are not trained enough.
- Agents are overloaded and might lack the right tools to help the customer faster.
- There are larger problems with the product that can’t be resolved quickly.
- Provide training for agents to handle queries efficiently and develop empathy towards customers’ issues.
- Set up Agent Assist, an internal AI bot that allows agents to search through their internal knowledge base and find answers faster.
- Use co-browsing for quick resolution of the problems, especially those where the customer support agent has to ask questions, such as
- Can you see that green button on the top right-hand corner?
- Are you on this page?
- Can you share a screenshot of the error? And so on…
- Automatically assign conversations based on the skill level of a customer support agent and the number of chats he/she is handling.
4. CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) Score
A CSAT score measures customer satisfaction towards your company or product. In this case, you need to measure if customers are satisfied with their interactions with your live chat agents.
The CSAT score is often determined by asking a single question or a set of questions in the form of a survey sent at the end of a conversation, to assess their experience.
For example: How would you describe the overall shopping experience on our website?
- Highly unsatisfied
- Highly satisfied
Before we jump into the ways to improve the CSAT score, let’s look at the reasons why the score might be low:
- High first response time.
- Agents struggling to resolve a problem.
- Lack of proper product knowledge.
- Low first response SLA%, which can be a result of over-promising and under delivery.
Pro Tip: It might be that your product is very difficult to use and users have to make extra effort to use or navigate through it. In that case, it’s very important to measure the CES (Customer Effort Score) which ranks your product on the ease of use, ranging from ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult’.
If a high percentage of your customer base ranks your product as difficult to use then you have to work on improving the overall experience and make it more accessible.
- Respond quickly – Customers always look for a fast resolution to their queries.
- Improve SLA% – Make promises which you can keep and focus on addressing the issue until it is resolved.
- Structure your messaging channels like in-app/web pop-ups, emails, and live chat in such a way that when a person visits your website these channels can provide customers with a quick way to connect to the right team.
- Follow up on closed tickets to ensure the resolution is working and no further problem exists.
5. NPS (Net Promoter Score)
Net Promoter Score measures the likelihood of customers recommending your business and indicates the loyalty of a customer towards your organization or product.
It is one of the most important ways to measure the strength of your relationship with customers and predict the possibility of repurchase and expanding growth through referrals.
NPS is rated on a 10-point scale and categorized as follows:
- Detractors: Customers giving you a score of 0 to 6, indicating dissatisfaction.
- Passives: Customers giving you a score of 7 or 8, but who may not want to recommend your product to others.
- Promoters: Customers giving you a score of 9 or 10, indicating high likelihood of recommending your product to others.
According to Temkin Research, promoters are 4.2 times more likely to buy again, 5.6 times more likely to forgive a company after a mistake, and 7.2 times more likely to try a new offering compared with the detractors.
Hence the focus should be on improving NPS and converting detractors into promoters.
- Make it easy for people to promote your brand by using a one-click social media share.
- Engage with detractors to find what went wrong.
- Assess and train customer support agents on chat etiquette.
- Don’t take promoters for granted – Ask them what can be improved as they are more open to feedback compared to detractors.
6. Chat to Conversion Rate
Chat to conversion rate can be viewed as the total number of people converted out of the total number of people who chatted with a live chat agent.
The definition of conversion may vary with business goals. It can be a purchase, a sign-up for the newsletter, or just attending a webinar.
So if you are using live chat for lead generation as well, then tracking this metric can be a good indicator of whether the efforts of your agents are proving fruitful.
- Provide training to the customer support team on product and upsell practices.
- Proactively chat with returning customers, to create a personal relationship.
- Trigger automatic pop-up message when a person visits the website.
- Qualify leads using chatbots.
- Equip the customer support team with product knowledge articles which they can use while addressing a query.
Customers are key to any business, and delivering the best customer service is one of the top priorities of businesses.
Live chat helps businesses increase customer satisfaction, reduce response time, and stay connected with customers. However, the key to great customer service is to measure and improve these metrics over a period of time.